STATEMENT: Trump’s Plan to Divert Funds for Disaster-Damaged Areas for His Racist Abuse Is Illegal and Disturbing, Say Puerto Rico and Legal Experts

Washington, D.C. — In response to news that the Trump administration could illegally pull billions in funding—set aside for areas damaged by natural disasters, including Puerto Rico—from the Army Corps of Engineers and Army Corps to build his ill-conceived border wall,  Enrique Fernández-Toledodirector of Puerto Rico Relief and Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

There is no crisis at the U.S. southern border, and should President Donald Trump make a conscious decision to proceed with this plan and divert desperately needed funds for another morally corrupt and racist abuse from his administration, we should all be disturbed.

The island of Puerto Rico urgently needs these funds to rebuild, but in another example of disaster racism—which has already resulted in almost 3,000 mostly preventable deaths—President Trump is eager to generate a false border crisis over his ill-conceived border wall to appease his extremist critics; force the military to seize borderlands from private owners and American Indian tribes; waste taxpayer money; and shamelessly misuse any resources he can get his hands on to halfway fulfill a campaign promise—for which Mexico was supposed to pay. And it is a clear abuse of power.

Sam Berger, senior adviser at CAP, also issued this statement on the proposal’s legality:

Trump’s latest proposed power grab is just as illegal as the last one. He has no authority to direct the military to confiscate land from citizens on the border to build his wall. There is no crisis except the one in the White House.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Rafael Medina at  or 202.748.5313.